• Iran's poking at West heightens risks of military missteps
    World
    Associated Press

    Iran's poking at West heightens risks of military missteps

    Rather than tangle with a stronger U.S. military, Iran is poking and prodding its Western antagonists in ways apparently designed to avoid triggering war but that nonetheless seem to heighten the risk of missteps and miscalculation that could lead to an armed conflict with global consequences. The tensions picked up Friday with Iran reporting it had seized a British-flagged oil tanker in the Persian Gulf , one day after the U.S. said it destroyed an Iranian drone that had flown within threatening range of an American warship in the Strait of Hormuz. In June the Iranians shot down a U.S. Navy drone in the same area, prompting President Donald Trump to authorize a military strike on Iran, only to call it off at the last moment .

  • 1,700 firefighters battle Portugal wildfires
    World
    AFP

    1,700 firefighters battle Portugal wildfires

    Planes and helicopters joined nearly 2,000 firefighters in central Portugal Sunday to battle huge wildfires in a mountainous region where more than 100 people died in huge blazes in 2017. Some 1,700 firefighters and 400 vehicles were deployed in one of the biggest mobilisations ever seen in the area to fight the blazes in the heavily forested Castelo Branco region, 200 kilometres (120 miles) north of Lisbon, the rescue services said. Around 20 people have been injured in the blaze, including eight firefighters and 12 civilians, according to the interior ministry.

  • Secrets: Everything You Wanted to Know About Israel's Nuclear Weapons
    World
    The National Interest

    Secrets: Everything You Wanted to Know About Israel's Nuclear Weapons

    The Iranian nuclear nonproliferation agreement has been the top foreign policy issue throughout Washington for the past two months.  Approving or disapproving the deal was the first order of business for the U.S. Congress until the very last day of congressional action under the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act (September 17).  Hours of debate have been conducted on the floors of the House and Senate, both chambers have held roll call votes, and Senate Democrats bonded together to filibuster a motion of disapproval — a resolution that would have prevented President Obama from providing the Iranians sanctions relief. The Obama administration's main selling point for the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action is based on the theory that forcing Tehran to downgrade its nuclear program will make the threat of nuclear proliferation in the Middle East — the world's most frenetic and violent region even without nuclear weapons— far less urgent.  Yet we should remember that there is in fact a state in the region that already possesses nuclear weapons.

  • Universal Orlando reopens after police respond to report of a gunman in parking garage
    News
    USA TODAY

    Universal Orlando reopens after police respond to report of a gunman in parking garage

    Universal Orlando went under lockdown Saturday night after police received a report of a gunman spotted in a parking garage. Police arrived shortly after 8:30 p.m. local time and, along with Universal security staff, temporarily shut down both of Universal's parking garages to guests while they assessed the area. It was later deemed safe and park activity returned to normal.

  • World
    Reuters

    Japan undecided on response to U.S. plan for Mideast maritime coalition -PM Abe

    Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Sunday he had not yet decided on how to respond to an expected U.S. request to send its navy to join a military coalition to safeguard strategic waters off Iran and Yemen. "We've started to hear the United States' thinking on this and we want to keep listening carefully," he said on national television as votes were being counted for the upper house election. "At the same time, Japan also has friendly ties with Iran," Abe added.

  • Politics
    Politico

    O'Rourke and de Blasio spar over 'Medicare for All'

    Bill de Blasio blasted Beto O'Rourke on Saturday over the former Texas lawmaker's opposition to “Medicare for All,” accusing his fellow Democratic presidential candidate of engaging in "lazy fear mongering tactics" as the health care policy debate ratchets up. Let's leave the lazy fear mongering tactics to Trump," the mayor of New York tweeted after O'Rourke said getting rid of private health care would force a majority of Americans off their existing insurance. O'Rourke opposes the single-payer health care plan — which would eliminate private insurance — and instead advocates for a plan that preserves employment-based insurance while giving individuals the option to switch to a new Medicare-based program.

  • News
    The Independent

    El Chapo: Mexico president calls life sentence ‘inhumane’ as drug lord moved to supermax prison

    The Mexican president has described Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman's life sentence as “inhumane” after the notorious drug lord was sent to live out his remaining years in a supermax prison in Colorado. Guzman was sentenced to life behind bars in the US plus 30 years after being found guilty of running a murderous criminal enterprise, having already escaped Mexican prisons twice. In his home country, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador referred to sentences like the one handed to Guzman to be served in a “hostile jail” as "hard” and “inhumane", adding that it made life no longer worth living.

  • 10 Surprising Moon Facts! (That Were Totally Wrong)
    World
    Popular Mechanics

    10 Surprising Moon Facts! (That Were Totally Wrong)

    There are plenty of conspiracy theories, recent discoveries, and just plain old misconceptions about the moon. From Popular Mechanics

  • World
    Bloomberg

    Tsai Says Taiwan’s 2020 Election Will Be a Test of Its Democracy

    Taiwan's presidential election next year will be a test of its democracy and value system, President Tsai Ing-wen said at the end of a U.S. trip that drew rebuke from China. Voters in Taiwan will be focused on the future of our country, especially whether we can keep our democratic and freedom way of life,” she said at a press conference in Denver on Saturday, and televised at the Presidential Office in Taipei. Seeking a second term, Tsai will face Kuomintang nominee Han Kuo-yu -- a firebrand mayor who advocates closer ties with China -- in the election on Jan. 11.

  • News
    Associated Press

    1 killed, 4 injured when Alaska flight aborted on takeoff

    A Maryland man visiting Alaska with his family was killed and one of his three children was critically injured Friday after their floatplane's takeoff was aborted. Alaska State Troopers identified the deceased man as Joseph Patenella, 57. The critically hurt child was flown to Anchorage for treatment, along with two other family members.

  • Is a new US-led war looming with Iran?
    World
    AFP

    Is a new US-led war looming with Iran?

    The United States is deploying troops in Saudi Arabia as tensions soar with its arch-rival Iran raising concerns over navigation in the Gulf's strategic Strait of Hormuz. It will be the first deployment of its kind since 2003, when American forces withdrew from the kingdom after a 12-year presence and two US-led wars with Iraq that culminated with the toppling of dictator Saddam Hussein. Separate statements from Riyadh and the US Central Command, or CENTCOM, say the Saudi deployment aims to ensure stability in the turbulent Gulf.

  • News
    The National Interest

    Alleged American ISIS Sniper Brought Home by the Defense Department to Face Charges

    An American citizen who allegedly served as a sniper for ISIS and became a leader for the terrorist group is expected to appear in federal court on Friday after being returned to the United States by the Defense Department, officials said. Ruslan Maratovich Asainov, who was born in Kazakhstan and became a naturalized U.S. citizen, is charged with providing and attempting to provide material support to ISIS, the Justice Department announced on Friday. A U.S. official confirmed to Task & Purpose that the Defense Department had transported Asainov from Syria to the United States.

  • Gabbard, AOC join lawmakers to call on Puerto Rican governor to resign over corruption scandal
    News
    USA TODAY

    Gabbard, AOC join lawmakers to call on Puerto Rican governor to resign over corruption scandal

    WASHINGTON – Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, has joined a growing chorus of lawmakers including Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., and Rep. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., in calling for the resignation of Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló over a corruption scandal involving leaked text messages between the governor and top aides. In a Twitter video sent from San Juan, Puerto Rico, on Friday, Gabbard called "on all Democrats running for President to come here to Puerto Rico and show support for our fellow Americans" against corruption, and called for Rosselló's resignation.

  • Irish, EU governments sound out Johnson to avoid no-deal Brexit: Sunday Times
    World
    Reuters

    Irish, EU governments sound out Johnson to avoid no-deal Brexit: Sunday Times

    Ahead of Boris Johnson's likely election next week as Britain's prime minister, EU countries are secretly wooing him in a bid to thrash out a new Brexit plan that would avoid a no-deal disaster, the Sunday Times newspaper reported. Senior Irish politicians and diplomats have held talks with two of Johnson's cabinet allies in recent days, it said. German and French figures as well as the Dutch and Belgian governments have also established contact with Johnson's team and signaled an intention to do a deal, it added.

  • Vatican opens burial chambers in hunt for princesses and missing teen
    World
    AFP

    Vatican opens burial chambers in hunt for princesses and missing teen

    The Vatican on Saturday opened two burial chambers discovered under a trapdoor as it attempts to get to the bottom of a riddle involving two 19th-century princesses and a teenager who went missing 36 years ago. The ossuaries were found last week under the floor of the Pontifical Teutonic College after the shock discovery earlier this month that the bones of the princesses had disappeared from tombs in the Teutonic Cemetery. The graves of Princess Sophie von Hohenlohe and Princess Charlotte Federica of Mecklenburg, who died in 1836 and 1840, were exhumed after an anonymous tip-off that they may hold the remains of a missing Italian youngster.

  • 2020 Democrats Are Starting to Turn Obama’s Legacy Against Biden
    Politics
    The Daily Beast

    2020 Democrats Are Starting to Turn Obama’s Legacy Against Biden

    Former Vice President Joe Biden has used Barack Obama's beloved status among Democratic voters to insulate him from criticism from the massive field of candidates jockeying to be the next president. But in recent weeks, the Democratic frontrunner has had that legacy used against him, with his competitors pointing the to shortcomings of the last Democratic administration as evidence that Biden's not up to the task of leading the next one. Barack Obama, personally, is incredibly popular among Democratic primary voters,” Karthik Ganapathy, a progressive consultant now running his own firm, told The Daily Beast.

  • News
    USA TODAY

    9-year-old girl dies after bounce house blown into power lines

    Hundreds of people lined the hallways of Renown Regional Medical Center to honor the 9-year-old girl who died after being injured in a bounce house incident earlier this week. Lizzy Hammond died after a bounce house blew into power lines in South Reno near Bartley Ranch on Sunday. Two other children were also injured in the incident.

  • US hotels caught in fight over housing detained migrants
    News
    Associated Press

    US hotels caught in fight over housing detained migrants

    Advocacy groups and unions are pressuring Marriott, MGM and others not to house migrants who have been arrested by Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers. For decades, the U.S. government has occasionally detained migrants in hotels, and Acting ICE Director Matthew Albence says it might have to split up families if hotels don't help. American and United Airlines said last year they didn't want to fly migrant children separated from their parents.

  • Will Taiwan Get the New F-16V Fighters It Desperately Wants?
    Business
    The National Interest

    Will Taiwan Get the New F-16V Fighters It Desperately Wants?

    Sebastien Roblin Security, And how mad will China get? On July 8, the U.S. State Department announced it would approve a $2.2 billion arms deal with Taiwan including 108 Abrams main battle tanks and 250 Stinger man-portable surface-to-air missiles—a deal which elicited new sanctions from Beijing on the companies involved. But the announcement was more notable for what the approval didn't include—a nearly done-deal for sixty-six F-16V jet fighters built fresh off the F-16 production line in Greenville, South Carolina.

  • World
    Reuters

    Iran's Zarif calls for 'prudence and foresight' as tensions mount

    Iran's top diplomat said on Sunday that only "prudence and foresight" could alleviate tensions between his country and Britain after Tehran's seizure of a British-flagged oil tanker. "Having failed to lure @realDonaldTrump into War of the Century, and fearing collapse of his #B_Team, @AmbJohnBolton is turning his venom against the UK in hopes of dragging it into a quagmire," Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Twitter. Britain has called Iran's capture of the Stena Impero in the Strait of Hormuz on Friday a "hostile act".

  • Compton boy loses arm after neighbor hands him firework on 10th birthday
    Celebrity
    WLS – Chicago

    Compton boy loses arm after neighbor hands him firework on 10th birthday

    A man is in custody after handing his young neighbor a firework that blew up, causing the boy to lose his arm on his 10th birthday.

  • Meet the woman who ties Jeffrey Epstein to Trump and the Clintons
    Celebrity
    Politico

    Meet the woman who ties Jeffrey Epstein to Trump and the Clintons

    Her family knew Trump before Epstein arrived on the scene, and she continued to socialize with Chelsea Clinton after Epstein was jailed on sex offenses. Maxwell first grew close with the Clintons after Bill Clinton left office, vacationing on a yacht with Chelsea Clinton in 2009, attending her wedding in 2010, and participating in the Clinton Global Initiative as recently as 2013, years after her name first emerged in accounts of Epstein's alleged sexual abuse. Ghislaine was the contact between Epstein and Clinton,” a person familiar with the relationship said.

  • World
    AFP

    British PM to hold emergency meeting on seized tanker

    Prime Minister Theresa May will hold a meeting of Britain's emergencies committee on Monday to discuss Iran's seizure of a UK-flagged oil tanker in the Gulf. In one of her final important acts as prime minister before resigning on Wednesday, May will chair a meeting of Britain's COBR emergencies committee at around 10:30 am (0930 GMT), her Downing Street office said. "As well as receiving the latest updates from ministers and officials, the COBR meeting will discuss the maintenance of the security of shipping in the Persian Gulf," a spokeswoman said in a brief statement.

  • The Air Force Has Sent Stealth F-22 Raptors to Qatar to Deter Iran
    Business
    The National Interest

    The Air Force Has Sent Stealth F-22 Raptors to Qatar to Deter Iran

    David Axe Technology, Middle East Very powerful. Since becoming operational in 2005, the F-22 has achieved roughly a 50-percent readiness rate, on average -- one of the lowest rates of all U.S. fighter types. The Raptor's complex systems and delicate, radar-absorbing coating require intensive maintenance.